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1 Your floor to ceiling guide

2 Saving energy really doesn t require a lot of your energy. There are some easy things you can do to make a difference in your monthly energy usage and still be comfortable. This brochure shows ways you can reduce energy usage, save money and help conserve natural resources. Give your home an energy check-up Knowing how much energy you use at home is the first step to understanding how to save. Take our Home Energy Efficiency Survey and get a customized report with energy-saving recommendations in just 25 minutes. Visit sdge.com/saveenergy to complete your survey today and to learn more about the rebates and services we offer. Or call us at for a free, mail-in Home Energy Efficiency Survey. It takes only a few minutes to complete and return. We ll analyze the energy usage in your home and mail you the results. Your water heater One drop of hot water per second can waste more than 500 gallons per year. If just 1% of SDG&E customers repaired a leaky hot water faucet, the savings would add up to 20 million gallons of water and enough natural gas savings to heat 1,000 homes all winter long. Use cold water When you can, use cold water to wash clothes or rinse dishes. Running your dishwasher Wash full loads and use the energy-saver setting for an additional savings. Use your dishwasher s booster heater; it heats the water used in the dishwasher to 140 F, allowing you to set your water heater at an energy-efficient 120 F. Keep it warm If your older water heater feels warm to the touch, buy a water heater blanket and save up to 9% on your water-heating costs. Check the caution label on your water heater. Newer models come with proper insulation and some even prohibit installing a blanket. Finally, don t cover the inspection plate with the blanket, it could be a fire hazard. 2

3 Install low-flow devices Low-flow devices on your faucets and showers can cut up to 11% of your water use, which will help reduce your energy and water bills. Let timers take on the task If you sometimes forget to turn off the lights, think about buying a timer to turn lights off and on automatically. Try photocells Photocells automatically turn on your lights when the sun goes down. Then, when the sun rises, the photocell turns the lights off. They re great for outdoor or security lighting. Your heating system In the winter, your heating system is probably your biggest energy user, accounting for 13 to 16% of your monthly bill. If we all turned down our thermostats just two degrees, we d save enough energy to heat 2,700 San Diego homes for a day. Your lights Lighting can account for about 20% of your monthly bill. Saving energy in lighting costs can be as easy as replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, which use 75% less energy and last up to ten times longer. If each household in San Diego replaced four 100-watt incandescent lights with equivalent 23-watt compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), 292,000 kilowatt-hours would be saved each year. Enough to power over 60,000 homes for a year. If you re planning to light your landscaping, install low-voltage lighting wherever possible. Motion sensors make sense Replace light switches with motion or occupancy sensors, which make the lights go on or off when someone enters or leaves a room. Motion sensors are perfect for the garage, exterior or security lighting. Choose the correct temperature setting For every two degrees you lower your thermostat you can save approximately 5% percent on your heating costs. You can save even more by using a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature to energy-saving settings throughout the day. If you have a heat pump, raising and lowering the thermostat could cause the electric heating strips to come on, significantly increasing your heating costs. Finally, thermostats should never be turned up high to heat a home in a hurry. It won t heat your home any faster and you ll be using more energy. Beware of portable space heaters Space heaters are best when you re trying to heat one room. If you use more than one, you can use more energy and spend more money than if you had just used your gas furnace to heat your entire home. 3 4

4 Don t let heat escape Keep doors and windows closed on chilly nights. Weatherstripping and caulking your doors and windows can save as much as 6% of your heating costs. Don t block heating vents Check to see that heating vents are unobstructed so your system isn t overworked getting heat into your home. Keep it clean Check filters at least twice during the heating season and either vacuum or replace them. Plus, it s a good idea to have your entire system checked yearly by a qualified heating contractor. Insulate your home properly Up to 20% of your heating can be lost through your ceiling. Proper insulation will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The insulation R rating stands for resistance to heat flow. The higher the R value, the greater the insulating power. Your air conditioner By using fans instead of central air conditioning, you can save 80 to 90% on cooling costs. In fact, if every residence with air conditioning in San Diego used fans for just three hours on one warm summer day, the energy saved could power over 10,000 homes for a full month. Keep the vents clear An obstructed vent, inside or outside your home, wastes both energy and money. Move furniture away from vents and window air conditioners and trim shrubbery that might block outside vents. Reduce your use day rewards A great way to save energy, help the planet and get a bill credit as a reward! When we alert you to save energy during the hours of 11am and 6pm on a Reduce Your Use day, you could earn a credit. Set it and leave it The best temperature for your air conditioner s thermostat is 78 F or higher. A setting of 78 F instead of 72 F can save up to 12% of your cooling costs. Watch those windows Consider installing reflective films or solar shade screens on windows with the greatest exposure to the summer sun. Keep cool air in Keep your doors and windows closed when you have the air conditioner on. Also weatherstrip and caulk your doors and windows to seal in cooled air. Shade your house Use landscaping, awnings and overhangs to provide shade around the outside of your home. A shaded house is easier to cool than one in direct sunlight. Maintain it Proper maintenance helps your air conditioner run more efficiently. In addition to regular do-ityourself maintenance, it s a good idea to have your entire system checked yearly by a qualified air-conditioning contractor. 5 6

5 Your refrigerator & freezer Chances are your refrigerator/freezer is one of the largest energy users in your home, gobbling up about 20% of your household s annual energy costs. If every household in the U.S. used high-efficiency refrigerators, the electricity saved would eliminate the need for about eight large power plants. Keep it in good shape A refrigerator works best when it s kept in good condition. Check the door seals. If they re cracked or you feel cold air leaking out, they should be replaced. Keep it cool Keep it in a well-ventilated, dry and cool space. Refrigerators and freezers near ovens, stoves, water heaters, clothes dryers or other crowded or warm places have to work harder. Unplug it If you have an extra refrigerator or freezer and don t keep it full, you could save up to 15% by unplugging it. Use the right settings Check your thermostat controls. To work most efficiently, your refrigerator should be set between 36 F and 40 F. The freezer temperature should be set from 0-5 F. Defrost regularly If you have a manual defrost freezer, don t forget to defrost regularly. More than 1/4 inch of frost makes your freezer work harder to keep your food frozen. Keep it clean Dirty condenser coils could lead to higher operating costs. Coils, found on the back or bottom front of your refrigerator, should be checked and cleaned at least twice a year. Keep it closed A refrigerator works more efficiently when you open its door as little as possible. So make your decisions before opening the door and get everything you need quickly and at one time. Keep the heat out of your refrigerator Before you store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer, allow them to cool slightly. That way, your refrigerator or freezer won t have to work to cool them off. Keep it full Refrigerators operate most efficiently when they are full, but not overloaded. While it s true that frozen foods help to keep the air cool, over-packing food in either compartment can prevent cold air from circulating properly. Refer to your owner s manual for the correct capacity. 7 8

6 Your oven & range Don t pre-heat if you don t have to. If you re baking breads and cakes, pre-heating your oven may be necessary. But for most foods, like casseroles and broiled items, pre-heating simply isn t necessary. Keep your oven & range clean An oven or range that s free of grease and baked-on residue will work more efficiently. Your washer & dryer If you wash two loads of laundry per week and switch from hot to cold water, you can save energy. If just 10% of San Diego County households did this, we could reduce our collective natural gas usage by more than half a million therms each year. Enough to provide all the natural gas needs to over 900 homes each year. Wash and dry full loads More than 70% of the cost of washing a load of laundry is in heating the water. So get the most for your money, and make every effort to wash full loads. Use cold water as often as possible Save washing in warm water for whites or hard-toclean items. Clothes washed in cold water fade less and have fewer wrinkles. Always rinse in cold. Get the lint out Clean your dryer s lint screen after every use. A lint-free dryer works much more efficiently. Check your connections Check for hose cracks and leaky faucet connections. Either one can cause you to lose hot water every time you wash. Buy gas appliances If you re in the market for a new range or oven, consider buying gas. They cost less to operate than electric appliances and are usually on for a shorter period of time. Use your microwave oven Your microwave requires about the same amount of energy per hour to operate as your electric oven. But, since it cooks food much more quickly, it saves you time and up to 75% in energy costs. In contrast, a gas oven costs about 50% less to operate than an electric oven. Cover it up Covers and lids on your pots and pans trap steam to help cook food faster. Cook smaller meals in smaller appliances For smaller meals that can t be cooked in a microwave, consider using an electric skillet, broiler oven or toaster oven. They use half the energy of their full-size electric counterparts, and won t heat up your kitchen in the warmer months. Boil until boiling and not a minute longer Once water or other liquids reach boiling, they won t get any hotter. So if you need to bring something to a boil, turn the burner down or off when it starts to boil. 9 10

7 For more information Connect at sdge.com/saveenergy for energy-saving tips, updates and information on energy-efficient rebates and services. P.O. Box San Diego, CA Connect at sdge.com 2012 San Diego Gas & Electric Company. E Printed on recycled paper All copyright and trademark rights reserved. S M

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